Reviews of Tafika
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
A fine example of responsible travel
John and Carol Coppinger set a fine example in the field of responsible tourism. The camp is just outside the National Park, set on the river bank. there are no water-based activities here, but on offer are 2 x4hour game drives per day, or small group day walks ( we did not try the cycling!).
The chalets are all made of local material, no electricity ( plently of re-charging sockets at the main lodge), but lit by solar lamps.comfy beds and we were not too hot at night. At the rear of the room, the bathroom and shower facilities are open to the sky - a hot shower under the stars was a wonderful experience! The rooms are well spaced, and the communal meals are tactfully organised so that everyone mixes well. The food was excellent on the whole, our only mild complaint was there was too much pudding!
We enjoyed the fact that the guides , and the management Staff ate with the guests. Every effort was made to suit the game viewing to our particular interests (eg, birding, photography). 4 travellers per vehicle, so everyone gets a good view. the afternoon drive includes the traditional"sundowner" and then gives you the opportunity for a couple of hours driving after dark.
The Park has excellent game and birds- hightlights were a leopard kill, hyena sightings by day and night, carmine bee-eaters nesting in their hundreds, crowned cranes flying in over the salt pans, following a pride of 10 lions on a hunt, and many cute baby elephants.
Walking tours allow you to see the smaller creatures- chameleons, insects, and also some close encounters with the larger animals. We felt very safe whilst on foot with 2 guides and an armed park ranger. The guides were all excellent.
We also learned such a lot about the life of the villagers from our guides. Remote Africa support many community projects, and provide employment for a substantial number of local people. this was not the most luxurious of the camps we visited - there's no wifi or mobile phone signal, but, of the 3 places we stayed, it's probably the one we are most likely to return to for a second visit.
See my earlier comments. Did not want to leave. [ Ed: See below! ]
Our thanks to everyone at Tafika .
Like in our recollection, brilliant
It was our second stay in Tafika, ,,, the leopards are still there, so are the lions, impalas, pukus, cameleons, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, girafes, zebras, buffalos and other bushbucks.
For those more interested in bird watching, it is also paradise on earth (certainly different from the orkneys, but as varied and exciting).
The whole staff is always helpful without being overwhelming or servile and the accomodation is very comfortable.
A special mention to Mukupa B with whom we had the unique experience of watching, and up to a point following, a pack of wild dogs in action (it was our fourth safari and the first time we saw them).
Tafika was 5-star camping with running hot and cold and solar power round the clock. John and Carol have established an extraordinary camp in a stunning setting, overlooking the river.
The guides at Tafika were in a league of their own. Brian combined a wide and deep knowledge of the bush with an instinctual sense of animal behavior and habitat. The two Mucupas were a fantastic team, who turned up spectacular sightings. We'll never forget cycling in the bush with John or our trip to the local village, where we were shown around the school, entertained with song and dance and began to get a sense of life in rural Zambia.
The food was delicious and it was a surprise to discover that much of it was coming from a gorgeous garden on site. We'd never seen a garden protected by electric elephant fencing and anti-monkey cages!
We decided on the spot that we simply must return to this camp.
Tremendous! All in all one of the better camps we have stayed in over forty years of travelling to Africa.
Guiding, service, food and rooms all above average.
It was good to have the camps' owners have meals and great conversations with you. This wouldn't happen at most other camps in Luangwa since nearly all are owned and run by large hotel groups. The personal touch matters!
It was our second time in Tafika. If possible it was even better of last time.
We have done great walks with multiple lion sightseeing each time we were walking. The staff is gorgeous and we really felt at home. Nice we will be back hopefully in the near future.
A great owner-run camp
We spent a very enjoyable four nights at Tafika. The rooms are very comfortable (but we did get upgraded to the honeymoon suite).
John & Carol Coppinger are very good hosts and the camp seems to be very efficiently run by a good team. All our games drives were interesting and the guides very good (we had different ones most days), although we did go over the same ground once or twice.
A quiet area - we didn’t come across other vehicles on our drives – and we approved of the policy of not using radios, the guides having to find their own things to see and make their own luck. We did two walks that we enjoyed. Food was very good but dining possibly a little formal for us.
Another great experience. wonderful game viewing and excellent guiding. Superb location on the banks of the river but this did mean the noise of hippos at night made sleeping difficult at times. Also the elephants who came and ate the tree outside our hut did cause us a little concern.
The furniture made from local materials was interesting and ingenious.
The game viewing was superb, particularly the birds which we were particularly interested in. All the guides were so knowledgeable particularly Bryan who seemed to know everything and was able to explain things so well. The walk with John was also especially interesting. Although we have rated the food as only good, it was really better than that but was eclipsed by our next camp.
Altogether a great camp which can be thoroughly recommended.
It was great to come back to Tafika for a couple of nights to gradually re-intergrate ourselves to civilisation after 4 nights in North Luwanga. Going straight home would have been a big shock to the system!
Our second stay matched our first and our final morning game drive afforded views of every animal you could expect to see!
Once again, we felt very much part of an extended family at Tafika.
Home from home! Real family atmosphere created by John & Carol greeting and hosting guests at meal times. Also by the staff having been there for many years. Very well managed camp, wonderful food (much of it from their own amazing garden), great location
We particularly enjoyed the format of the daily activities which allowed for extended night drives. As a result, the night-spotting was the best we've ever enjoyed in many years of wildlife travel. The guides and spotters also demonstrated a deep respect for the wildlife as well as expert knowledge of animal behaviour in the locality. And by the way, the sightings were amazing including leopard every day and elephants crunching seed-pods outside our hut.
We've stayed at some fantastic camps all over the world but never left any feeling we must return soon as much as on leaving Tafika.